Located in the Bacanao Park, the Gran Piedra is a mountain range 25 km southeast of Santiago de Cuba.
The Gran Piedra owes its fame mainly to the enormous rock that crowns its summit, as well as to the Isabelica coffee plantation, classified as a Unesco heritage site.
But it is also for the incredible diversity of the local fauna and flora that the Gran Piedra is worth the detour.
You will discover there numerous varieties of plants and birds, among which the famous tocororo, the emblem of Cuba.
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Getting to the Gran Piedra
To get to the Gran Piedra, you have two options.
The most courageous can take the bus n°214 from Santiago de Cuba, and then walk the 12 kilometers that lead to the summit of the Gran Piedra.
Be careful, we warn you, the road is steep! If you don’t have the courage, it is also possible to take a cab from Santiago.
Count 50 to 65 CUC for the trip.
For 25 CUC more, you can extend your excursion to El Cobre.
What to do at the Gran Piedra?
Admire the view from the top of the Gran Piedra
At the end of the 12 kilometers of road, you will still have 459 steps to climb before reaching the summit which culminates at 1234 meters of altitude.
At the bottom of the steps, you will be asked to pay 1 CUC per person to go up and admire the view.
The summit of the Gran Piedra is crowned by an enormous rock of 63,000 tons.
According to specialists, it is the result of an underwater volcanic eruption.
More far-fetched theories attribute its appearance to the fall of a meteorite.
In any case, regardless of its origin, it is an incredible view of the Sierra Maestra.
Visit the La Isabelica coffee plantation (Cafetal La Isabelica)
If eastern Cuba is full of coffee plantations, it is because this is where the French who fled the revolt in Haiti took refuge in the 18th century.
Thus, Bacanao Park has about sixty coffee plantations, the most famous of which, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the La Isabelica Plantation (2 CUC/person).
Perched at 1,150 meters above sea level, La Isabelica Plantation is very well preserved.
You will be able to discover the coffee crops, the drying rooms, a mill, etc.
The old mansion has been converted into a museum tracing the stages of coffee making and the history of coffee growing in Cuba.
Local farmers also offer their services to guide you to discover the coffee plantations of the region.
Explore the Botanical Garden
La Gran Piedra is also home to a botanical garden that is sure to delight enthusiasts.
Birds of paradise, dahlias and magnolias bloom in profusion, thanks to the microclimate of the sierra.
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Sleeping at the Gran Piedra
Good news for nature lovers! If you want to extend the experience and sleep with your head in the clouds, you will find a hotel on site: the Gran Piedra Hotel.